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Are your actions still good when...
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21 / M / New Jersey
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Posted 12/17/13 , edited 12/21/13
I'm curious of what you all think.

Is one's actions still good when there is a personal gain or intention behind them?
• Say for instance... An individual helps their neighbor do something but expects cash in return?
Would their action still deemed as good?

What if one does a good deed just for self-satisfaction?
• Let's say, a person does an honest deed just to label themselves as a 'good' person.
Will their actions still be considered great?

I may have missed more so please don't hesitate to add more to the list!

In essence, are one's actions still correct despite having either person gain, satisfactions, and even other things I have not mentioned?
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Posted 12/17/13
It's important to seperate the act from the intent. An act can be good even if the intent is bad, and an act can be bad even if the intent is good.

You're delving into the realm of philosophy; expect paragraph long responses from others.
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27 / M / Mor Dhona
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Posted 12/17/13
Intentions are important, but the world cares far more about the results of your actions than why you choose them.

On a personal level, most people are utterly incapable of true altruism. They will always have some selfish reason for their actions or expect something in return.
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21 / M / New Jersey
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Posted 12/17/13

Atheyon wrote:

It's important to seperate the act from the intent. An act can be good even if the intent is bad, and an act can be bad even if the intent is good.

You're delving into the realm of philosophy; expect paragraph long responses from others.


Haha, yeah. Very interested to see what others have to say on the matter. (:
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27 / M / Long Island
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Posted 12/17/13
Reminds me of a philosophy class i took as an undergraduate. The professor gave us a scenario which is basically: A scientist attempts to poison a water supply but ends up curing a disease that affects many people, and the prof. asked whether we thought what he did was good or bad.

To answer you, I'd agree with what Genbu89 said. I think people more often than not, have a self serving reason to do a good deed. For example if someone does volunteer work helping the homeless, they may be doing it to please God and ensure they'll go to heaven. Or if someone isn't religious and doing it just because it helps others, they may still be doing it because it makes them feel good which is sort of self serving in a way. I'd still say though, that people "are good" and are "doing good" in those situations despite whether they're looking for a ticket to heaven or a feeling of helpfulness.

This is just my opinion by the way, I'm not claiming thus to be truth
Posted 12/17/13
It really depends on what you consider to be 'good' or 'bad.'

If I kill someone (who is considered evil by everyone) to save the life of another person just so that person would be indebted to me, then is that good or bad?

If you only take into account the action being done, then it would be bad. Now if you look at the end result, some people would argue that it was for the "greater good."

It's really difficult to take such a subject and view it as black or white. Mainly because it's not that simple.
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Posted 12/17/13

Atheyon wrote:

You're delving into the realm of philosophy; expect paragraph long responses from others.


And then comes the move into the extended discussion forum.
Posted 12/17/13
Depends on your own perspective.
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24 / M / Colorado
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Posted 12/17/13
Any rational decision is selfish, but being selfish isn't necessarily bad. Good and bad vary with perspective so its impossible for anything to be straight up 'good' or 'bad'. If you define the situational parameters for what is 'good' or 'bad' then its possible to make a decision about something being 'good' or 'bad'. I agree with Genbu89, people care FAR more about results of actions than the reasoning behind it.
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23 / M / Kaguya's Panties
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Posted 12/18/13
Whatever I do is good, even if others think it's bad : )
Posted 12/19/13 , edited 12/19/13
This is just me personally, but I don't really think of someone as doing something good unless both the action and the intent are good.

I think bad actions can happen from good intentions , but I can't really say that they've done good, because then you could justify just about anything.

Similarly, I think good actions can result from bad intentions, but that's just... I don't know what to call it... lucky? serendipitous? a happy accident? The result could be good, but I wouldn't say that the person responsible has done good. I think to some extent, this might also have the same problem of being able to justify anything. Ends justify the means and what not. Same thing with a good act done out of selfishness, just not as strong as a more potent example.

But that's just my take on it.
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Posted 12/19/13 , edited 12/19/13
How about let's say, I gave someone money to save their life ONLY because they promised they'd pay me back with interest. If they didn't promise to me back with interest, then I wouldn't have helped them because I didn't even know or care about them . They were just a friend's friend. So does that make my action bad?

Edit: Or actually, is the intent even bad?
Posted 12/19/13
The only thing that I hate about good actions is when the person do good in front of you because they're trying to gain your favour; but they actually don't really like you at all...

I find that annoying. I prefer people to be honest with their actions. I would say expecting money or a return favour upfront is more good to me.

I don't like hidden agenda. But some people obviously prefer the... more sugarcoated method. I prefer people to be upfront about what they want from me and why they're being good to me. It's just the type of person I am. I'm very straightforward for an analytical person. I dislike complex human manipulative behaviour.
Posted 12/19/13 , edited 12/19/13
Leaving all philosophy aside, I think that whatever good deeds you do, as long as it is beneficial to another person, it is a good action. Whatever you feel inside doesn't matter because the action was already done.

Now, if you're asking whether that makes you a good person, I don't believe there is a 100% good or bad person. Everyone has motives and hidden secrets so as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else, you're good...in my mind.

Sogno- 
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Posted 12/19/13
the action may be a good action but it doesn't make the person performing the act a good person.

if you're doing something (legal) for money, then it's neither good nor bad, it's just a job.
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